Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Bantry Longboat 'Fionnbarra' Under Full Sail in Cork Harbour's Autumn Sunshine

23rd October 2022
The Bantry Longboat Fionnbarra sailing in Cork Harbour
The Bantry Longboat Fionnbarra sailing in Cork Harbour Credit: Bob Bateman

The Bantry Longboat Fionnbarra, community-built by Meitheal Mara, and with rig perfectly set up, made an impressive sight in the Autumn sunshine of Cork Harbour at the weekend.

The 2007 built boat had been the focus of a refurbishment project in 2019 and is now back on her home waters of the River Lee in Cork city and the lower harbour area. 

With ten oars and three dipping lug sails these boats provide a great medium to teach different elements of seamanship and test both rowing and sailing skills of crews.

Bantry longboat Fionnbarra brings people out on the water who would not normally get the chanceBantry longboat Fionnbarra brings people out on the water who would not normally get the chance Photo: Bob Bateman

Most sailing folk in Ireland will have some level of awareness of the Bantry Boat. Even those who live most determinedly in the present, and look unswervingly to the future, will be vaguely aware that thanks to some fortuitous turns of history, on both sides of the Atlantic, we now have flotillas or individual examples of sailing/rowing craft of a classic design which is pushing towards being 250 years old and more in its origins.

Old they may be in concept, yet these boats provide a valid combination of rowing and sailing for seamanship and adventure training which has a special resonance today, and in coastal communities, they can be a focal point for active maritime involvement as Afloat's WM N Nixon relates here. Team

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